–– Sito di FORMAZIONE PERMANENTE MISSIONARIA –– Uno sguardo missionario sulla Vita, il Mondo e la Chiesa A missionary look on the life of the world and the church –– VIDA y MISIÓN – VIE et MISSION – VIDA e MISSÃO ––
That energy, as is evident in both creation and scripture, is, at its root, creative, prodigal, robust, joy-filled, playful, and exuberant. If you want to know that God is like, look at the natural exuberance of children, look at the exuberance of a young puppy, or look at the robust, playful energy of young people. And to see God’s prodigal character, we might look at billions and billions of stars that surround us. The energy of God is prodigal and exuberant.
Then what about the Cross? Doesn’t it, more than anything else, reveal God’s nature? Isn’t it what shows us God? Isn’t suffering the innate and necessary route to maturity and sanctity? Isn’t there a contradiction between what Jesus reveals about the nature of God in his crucifixion and what scripture and nature reveal about God’s exuberance?
While there’s clearly a paradox here, there’s no contradiction. The tension we see between the cross and exuberance is already seen in the person and teachings of Jesus. Jesus scandalized his contemporaries in opposite ways: He scandalized them in his capacity to willingly give up his life and the things of this world, even as he scandalized them equally with his capacity to enjoy life and drink in its God-given pleasures. His contemporaries weren’t able to walk with him while he carried the cross and they weren’t able to walk with him either as he ate and drank without guilt and felt only gift and gratitude when a woman anointed his feet with expensive perfume.
Jesus promises us that if we take up his cross, God will reward us with an exuberance that no one can ever take from us.
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